For all of my patients sensuality is a giving in to 'the low side of their nature.' Puritanism is powerful and distorts their life with a total anesthesia of the senses. If you atrophy one sense, you also atrophy all the others, a sensuous and physical connection with nature, with art, with food, with other human beings.
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The author's conviction on this day of New Year is that music begins to atrophy when it departs too far from the dance; that poetry begins to atrophy when it gets too far from music; but this must not be taken as implying that all good music is dance music or all poetry lyric. Bach and Mozart are never too far from physical movement.
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The exact process you use to build courage isn't important. What's important is that you consciously do it. Just as your muscles will atrophy if you don't regularly stress them, your courage will atrophy if you don't consistently challenge yourself to face down your fears. In the absence of this kind of conscious conditioning, you'll automatically become weak in both body and mind. If you aren't regularly exercising your courage, then you are strengthening your fear by default; there is no middle ground.
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Skepticism, as I said, is not intellectual only; it is moral also; a chronic atrophy and disease of the whole soul. A man lives by believing something; not by debating and arguing about many things. A sad case for him when all that he can manage to believe is something he can button in his pocket, and with one or the other organ eat and digest! Lower than that he will not get.
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Beyond work and love, I would add two other ingredients that give meaning to life. First, to fulfill whatever talents we are born with. However blessed we are by fate with different abilities and strengths, we should try to develop them to the fullest, rather than allow them to atrophy and decay. ... Second, we should try to leave the world a better place than when we entered it.
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The prosperity of a people is proportionate to the number of hands and minds usefully employed. To the community, sedition is a fever, corruption is a gangrene, and idleness is an atrophy. Whatever body or society wastes more than it acquires, must gradually decay, and every being that continues to be fed, and eases to labor, takes away something from the public stock.
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We all need love. In its absence we never fully develop emotionally, relationally and or socially. Love is the umbilical cord that which feeds our very souls. It, inevitably, provides us with all the essential nutrients our spirits rely on to survive, thrive and grow. Without love all things wither, atrophy and die. ~Jason Neville Versey
Jason Neville Versey
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If you think childlike, you'll stay young. If you keep your energy going, and do everything with a little flair, you're gunna stay young. But most people do things without energy, and they atrophy their mind as well as their body. You have to think young, you have to laugh a lot, and you have to have good feelings for everyone in the world, because if you don't, it's going to come inside, your own poison, and it's over.
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I imagine as long as people will continue to read novels, people will continue to write them, or vice versa; unless of course the pictorial magazines and comic strips finally atrophy man's capacity to read, and literature really is on its way back to the picture writing in the Neanderthal cave.
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the cold winds of insecurity... hadn't shredded the dreamy chrysalis of his childhood. He was still immersed in the dim, wet wonder of the folded wings that might open if someone loved him; he still hoped, probably, in a butterfly's unthinking way, for spring and warmth. How the wings ache, folded so, waiting; that is, they ache until they atrophy.
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The well-being of a neuron depends on its ability to communicate with other neurons. Studies have shown that electrical and chemical stimulation from both a neuron's inputs and its targets support vital cellular processes. Neurons unable to connect effectively with other neurons atrophy. Useless, an abandoned neuron will die.
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LOVE: Deception of the flesh and damage to the spirit. Disease of the soul, atrophy of the brain, weakening of the heart, corruption of the senses, poetic lies from which one gets ferociously inebriated two or three times a day in order to consume this precious but stupid life more quickly. And yet I would prefer to die of love. Its the only swindler, after Judas, that can kill with a kiss.
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The bodies we have are not made for extended use. We must cope with accumulated DNA damage, cell damage, muscle atrophy, bone loss, decreased muscle mass, and joints worn out from overuse during a lifetime of bipedal locomotion. It might have worked great for prehistoric humans, but it wreaks havoc on our knees and hips.
S. Jay Olshansky
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The rushed existence into which industrialized, commercialized man has precipitated himself is actually a good example of an inexpedient development caused entirely by competition between members of the same species. Human beings of today are attacked by so-called manager diseases, high blood pressure, renal atrophy, gastric ulcers, and torturing neuroses: they succumb to barbarism because they have no more time for cultural interests.
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I've always wondered why European politicians as a group seemed brighter than American politicians as a group. Maybe it's becausemany American politicians have the race issue to fall back on. They become lazy, suspicious of innovative ideas, and as a result American institutions atrophy.
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The gift of creative reading, like all natural gifts, must be nourished or it will atrophy. And you nourish it, in much the same way you nourish the gift of writing - you read, think, talk, look, listen, hate, fear, love, weep - and bring all of your life like a sieve to what you read. That which is not worthy of your gift will quickly pass through, but the gold remains.
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Life is a series of diminishments. Each cessation of an activity either from choice or some other variety of infirmity is a death, a putting to final rest. Each loss, of friend or precious enemy, can be equated with the closing off of a room containing blocks of nerves and soon after the closing off the nerves atrophy and that part of oneself, in essence, drops away. The self is lightened, is held on earth by a gram less of mass and will.
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Institutionalized desublimation thus appears to be an aspect of the "conquest of transcendence" achieved by the one-dimensional society. Just as this society tends to reduce, and even absorb opposition (the qualitative difference!) in the realm of politics and higher culture, so it does in the instinctual sphere. The result is the atrophy of the mental organs for grasping the contradictions and the alternatives and, in the one remaining dimension of technological rationality, the Happy Consciousness comes to prevail.
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My mind seems to have become a kind of machine for grinding general laws out of large collections of facts, but why this should have caused the atrophy of that part of the brain that alone on which the higher tastes depend, I cannot conceive. A man with a mind more highly organised or better constituted than mine would not, I suppose, have thus suffered, and if I had to live my life over again, I would have made a rule to read some poetry and listen to some music at least once every week; for perhaps the parts of my brain now atrophied would thus have been kept alive through use.
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The author points to the impact of what he called Dutch disease, where the discovery of found wealth from a particular commodity causes a culture to atrophy with respect to work ethic and broader development. Continuing wealth from the single commodity is taken for granted. The government, flush with wealth, is expected to be generous. When the price of that commodity drops, a government which would remain in power dare not cut back on this generosity.
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Well into the 19th century there were pronouncements from just about every branch of science and medicine that reading, writing, and thinking were dangerous for women. Articles in the Lancet declared that women's brains would burst and their uteruses atrophy if they engaged in any form of rigorous thinking. The famous physician J.D. Kellogg insisted that novel reading was the greatest cause of uterine disease among young women and urged parents to protect their daughters from the dreaded consequences of print.
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Venerable age had not, for him, arranged that derelict landscape against which it is privileged to sit and pick its nose, break wind, and damn the course of youth groping among the obstacles erected, dutifully, by its own hands earlier, along the way of that sublime delusion known as the pursuit of happiness. Not to be confused with the state of political bigotry, mental obstinacy, financial security, sensual atrophy, emotional penury, and spiritual collapse which, under the name 'maturity', animated lives around him, it might be said that Reverend Gwyon had reached maturity.
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The cell phone has transformed public places into giant phone-a-thons in which callers exist within narcissistic cocoons of private conversations. Like faxes, computer modems and other modern gadgets that have clogged out lives with phony urgency, cell phones represent the 20th Century's escalation of imaginary need. We didn't need cell phones until we had them. Clearly, cell phones cause not only a breakdown of courtesy, but the atrophy of basic skills.
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Ability is not something to be saved, like money, in the hope that you can draw interest on it. The interest comes from the spending. Unused ability, like unused muscles, will atrophy. It is tragic to realize that the majority of human beings, even the so-called educated, call upon only the smallest fraction of their potential capacity. They leave many talents dormant. They fail to develop their mental qualities. They are almost unaware of the degree of energy upon which they might call to build a full and rewarding life.
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Let Detroit go bankrupt! If General Motors, Ford and Chrysler get the bailout that their chief executives asked for yesterday, you can kiss the American automotive industry goodbye. It won't go overnight, but its demise will be virtually guaranteed. Without that bailout, Detroit will need to drastically restructure itself. With it, the automakers will stay the course - the suicidal course of declining market shares, insurmountable labor and retiree burdens, technology atrophy, product inferiority and never-ending job losses. Detroit needs a turnaround, not a check.
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Beyond work and love, I would add two other ingredients that give meaning to life. First, to fulfill whatever talents we are born with. However blessed we are by fate with different abilities and strengths, we should try to develop them to the fullest, rather than allow them to atrophy and decay. We all know individuals who did not fulfill the promise they showed in childhood. Many of them became haunted by the image of what they might have become. Instead of blaming fate, I think we should accept ourselves as we are and try to fulfill whatever dreams are within our capability. Second, we should try to leave the world a better place than when we entered it. As individuals, we can make a difference, whether it is to probe the secrets of Nature, to clean up the environment and work for peace and social justice, or to nurture the inquisitive, vibrant spirit of the young by being a mentor and a guide.
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The Unknown is not the Unknowable; it need not remain the unknown for us, unless we choose ignorance or persist in our first limitations. For to all things that are not unknowable, all things in the universe, there correspond in that universe faculties which can take cognisance of them, and in man, the microcosm, these faculties are always existant and at a certain stage capable of development. We may choose not to develop them; where they are partially developed, we may discourage and impose on them a kind of atrophy. But, fundamentally all possible knowledge is knowledge within the power of humanity. And since in man there is the inalienable impulse of Nature towards self-realisation, no struggle of the intellect to limit the action of our capacities within a determined area can for ever prevail.
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And I do. I do wonder, I think about it all the time. What it would be like to kill myself. Because I never really know, I still can't tell the difference, I'm never quite certain whether or not I'm actually alive. I sit here every single day. Run, I said to myself. Run until your lungs collapse, until the wind whips and snaps at your tattered clothes, until you're a blur that blends into the background. Run, Juliette, run faster, run until your bones break and your shins split and your muscles atrophy and your heart dies because it was always too big for your chest and it beat too fast for too long and you run. Run run run until you can't hear their feet behind you. Run until they drop their fists and their shouts dissolve in the air. Run with your eyes open and your mouth shut and dam the river rushing up behind your eyes. Run, Juliette. Run until you drop dead. Make sure your heart stops before they ever reach you. Before they ever touch you. Run, I said.
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Friction is necessary. Ease of life leads to complacency and the atrophy of the human will and spirit. Within our struggles lives our strength, within our trials lives our triumphs. Friction creates a platform for change, generates heat and or fervor and creates a motivational charge that gives us an opportunity to be better. A gem cannot be polished without friction and so neither a person without hardships. Friction within and friction without sharpens our senses and revives our internal resolutions. Friction is uncomfortable, hardships are distressing but both are necessary. We cannot light a match without friction nor can we hone steal. Uncomfortable as it may be, our adversity ultimately lights a fire and sharpens our very will to flourish. Today, let us not be discouraged, let us not be bitter in our suffering rather let us be encouraged as we look to our trials as a medium that will eventually make us better.
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I am now 33 years old, and it feels like much time has passed and is passing faster and faster every day. Day to day I have to make all sorts of choices about what is good and important and fun, and then I have to live with the forfeiture of all the other options those choices foreclose. And I'm starting to see how as time gains momentum my choices will narrow and their foreclosures multiply exponentially until I arrive at some point on some branch of all life's sumptuous branching complexity at which I am finally locked in and stuck on one path and time speeds me through stages of stasis and atrophy and decay until I go down for the third time, all struggle for naught, drowned by time. It is dreadful. But since it's my own choices that'll lock me in, it seems unavoidable-if I want to be any kind of grownup, I have to make choices and regret foreclosures and try to live with them.
David Foster Wallace
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